Walmart Raising Its Minimum Wage, Will Assist Employees With Adoption Expenses

Customers shop at a Walmart store in January 2017 in Skokie Illinois

Walmart plans to increase its employees' starting wage to $11 an hour, expand maternity and paternal leave benefits, as well as provide a one-time cash bonus up to $1,000.

Walmart also said it would offer financial help to full-time hourly and salaried employees who are seeking to adopt children.

The pay increase and bonus will benefit more than 1 million hourly workers, it said.

McMillon also said the company is "early in the stages of assessing the opportunities" that tax reform creates for Walmart.

"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.", Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, said in a news release.

"Today, we are building on investments we've been making in associates, in their wages and skills development", Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a news release.

The retailer has spent about $2.7 billion to increase wages over the past few years. The one-time bonus will amount to $400 million in the current fiscal year and the company will take a one-time charge in the fourth-quarter of the current fiscal year to account for the charge.

Campus on lockdown due to possible shot fired
It's unclear how many people were on campus at the time of the incident, but more than 20,000 students attend the school, he said. The Associated Press reported that a gunshot struck a campus building, possibly shot from somewhere off-campus.

More broadly, according to a list compiled by Americans for Tax Reform, about 55 companies have announced one-time bonuses for employees following the tax overhaul.

Walmart is raising hourly pay from $9 to $11 as a result of recent tax law changes.

Fundamentally, 99.9 percent of the tax cut is not being passed onto workers in the form of bonuses.

Walmart is the first retailer in the S&P 500 to raise wages citing the tax law, and its across-the-board pay increases could pressure other companies to follow suit.

The increase in wages will cost approximately $300 million on top of wage hike plans that had been included in next fiscal year's plans, the company said.

Walmart is also increasing its paid leave policy for new fathers and non-birthing mothers to six weeks at full pay for full-time hourly workers.

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